Category Archives: Thanksgiving

We Gather Together

for Sunday, November 18, 2012
Sunday before Thanksgiving
33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
25th Sunday after Pentecost
Proper 28
lectionary focus: Hebrews 10:11-14 (15-18); Mark 13:1-8
resources: Here are two good children’s books to extend this lesson:

**Thank You, Sarah! The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving by Laurie Halse Anderson
**Thanksgiving in the White House by Gary Hines

Good Morning!

This week we celebrate Thanksgiving. On Thursday, everyone in our country will stop and give thanks for all their blessings. In the early days of our country, families picked their own day of thanksgiving. People celebrated on different days whenever it fit their schedule. Then 150 years ago, President Abraham Lincoln received a letter from Sarah Hale. Mrs. Hale suggested that there be a National holiday of Thanksgiving–that everyone in the country stop on the same day and give thanks. But at that time, our country was at war. The fighting made times sad, food scarce, and money tight. It was hard for people to feel thankful. People thought, We can’t have a holiday now! We don’t have time for a party! There are too many problems to be solved! But President Lincoln and the people soon realized that gathering together was just what they needed to do, especially in those tough times.

Our times are tough now. You may have heard in the news about wars and storms and sickness. But Jesus tells us not to be alarmed by sadness. Instead our Bible story today tells us to be confident and to gather together. We are called to come together, to encourage each other, to inspire each other to do love. Because no matter tough times or good times, love is the response. It’s always better when we’re together.

So this Thursday, as you celebrate Thanksgiving and count your blessings big and small, be confident and share God’s hope and love. Encourage each other. And let us all gather together and continue to make the world a more beautiful place.

Will you pray with me? (This is an echo prayer: the leader says a line and the children repeat it.)

Dear Lord,
Thank You
for a day of Thanksgiving.
Help us
to gather together
and encourage each other
to share Your love.

We are not Christians alone.
My mission is to share, inspire, and encourage.
Happy Thanksgiving! I am thankful for you!

A Thanksgiving Story

Last Sunday after Pentecost
Christ the King (Reign of Christ)
Thanksgiving Week
for Sunday, November 20, 2011
lectionary focus: Matthew 25:31-46

Good morning.

I like to celebrate each day as a holiday, as a holy day. But we are now at the time of year where our calendar is full of holidays. This week our whole country will stop and celebrate Thanksgiving Day. Families and friends all over will get together and eat turkey and dressing and pumpkin pie. People will count their blessings one by one, giving thanks to God for all of their happiness.

Our Bible story today is a Thanksgiving Story. In fact, it is a Thank You card from Jesus. Jesus thanks you and me for feeding Him and clothing Him and welcoming Him and giving Him medicine and just hanging-out with Him. But wait? Jesus was a man on Earth 2,000 years ago; we live here now. How could we have fed Him and clothed Him then? Because Jesus is also alive today. He is alive in our hearts–in my heart, in your heart, in everybody’s hearts. So whatever we do to each other, we are, in essence, doing unto Jesus. By feeding others, by giving clothes, by just hanging-out with others, we are welcoming Jesus today, here and now. Jesus wants us to know that He appreciates our kindness to Him through our family and friends and neighbors near and far. Jesus knows that sometimes it is hard to recognize Him in others; other people may have Jesus hidden away inside themselves. But we know where Jesus lives. And we must treat others as if we are serving Jesus Himself because, as Jesus tells us in this story, we are. Of course, we want to treat Jesus very well!

So this holiday and every holy day, as we offer our thanksgiving for all of our blessings, let us also generously share food, and clothing, and peace, and love, and joy, that we may be worthy of Jesus saying Thank you to us.

Will you pray with me? (This is an echo prayer: the leader says a line and the children repeat it back.)

Dear Lord,
Thank You
for Your gratitude.
Help me
to see You in others
that I may be worthy
of Your thanks.


We are not Christians alone. My mission is to share, inspire, and encourage.